End of Sponsorship Period
You should familiarise yourselves with the useful Planning Effective Transitions guide that has been developed for the community sponsorship programme and can be downloaded here:
Your group will support the family or individual when they arrive to navigate a number of different systems such as healthcare, housing, education and social welfare in Ireland. Your role will be to ensure that the family or individual know where to go and who to speak with if they have any questions or if issues arise.
It is important that from arrival the family or individual are fully engaged in, and to the greatest extent possible, are able to take responsibility for all application processes and interactions with these services. This should be done from the start of the sponsorship period so the family or individual can build their own knowledge and understanding of the different systems and contact points for each service whilst still having the support of the CSG as required. This will help to ensure there is no on-going reliance on your sponsorship groups at the end of the sponsorship commitment, but an understanding that there are support avenues available if needed.
At the start of the sponsorship journey a large amount of support may be needed to help navigate systems and services but the support needed at 6,12 months and so on should be a lot less.
After the initial 18-month period, friendships may have formed but the structured sponsorship support will have ended. It is important therefore that all parties involved understand this and plan for this transition phase from as early as possible.
An Exit Strategy can be a useful tool to help create a clear understanding of when the sponsorship support ends and how this transition can be managed. The useful exit strategy template, that can be downloaded on this page, will help you to consider a number of areas of support with the family or individual, including:
Education and Training Supports
Social and Leisure/Community
Children and Family Support Services
For each of these areas you should ensure that the family or individual know how and where to access these supports or services. If their rights and entitlements are not being met they should know where they can access appropriate support. Having an information index of relevant phone numbers, websites and addresses for each service may be useful, and if necessary should be made available in their first language.
Your group could draft an exit strategy at the beginning of the sponsorship process, and revise it on an ongoing basis based on discussions with the family and how their situation unfolds.
DOWNLOAD: Community Sponsorship Ireland_Exit Strategy
"Community Sponsorship has arms and legs that stretches out far beyond the local community, it has such a positive knock on effect. I can hardly describe the impact; it has brought such a positive vibe to our own community. You can’t even measure the impact as there are so many positives; it knits people together by providing an avenue to express kindness, demonstrate love and show support."